Altos de Chavon Residency, Part 1

by Alex Smith (MFA 2015)

Is this real life?

Trying to describe this residency is like trying to describe a dream that was so amazing you can’t find the words. Since I arrived in the Dominican Republic I have been painting, exploring, and just trying to find ways to hold on to this experience forever. Andres and I are staying in a village called Altos de Chavon, located on top of the Chavon River in La Romana.

A painting in progress of the Chavon River

Conceived by Roberto Copa a former Paramount Pictures set designer in 1976, it is the most popular attraction in the city. So far our time here has mainly been spent meeting all the great people here and taking in all the history of the town.

A picture I took of The Church of St Stanislaus on my first night in town
Narrow cobblestone alleyway with the moon up above.
On the river, looking up at the town.
Exploring with some of our students.
Getting ready for one of our amazing lunches!

The students here are amazing people and artists! They have so much interest in art, showing us their favorite places to find inspiration.

One of my favorite things about this place is how time just seems to come to a halt. Nothing is a rush here, people like to stay relaxed and just take it slow. After living in New York for two years I have almost forgotten how to do this. I cant wait to see what the rest of this residency brings and hope it never ends.

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